CAN YOU COMBINE CBD AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN?
Many people nowadays choose natural remedies to treat pain conditions. Chronic pain can seriously hamper you in your daily life and the regular painkillers that are often prescribed can then help a lot. However, these bring with them the necessary side effects. Is it therefore a good idea to combine CBD and Traditional Chinese Medicine for chronic pain? In this blog, we explain what the benefits are and how effective these remedies are for pain symptoms.
What is TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine already has a long history. It is an umbrella term for many different medicinal applications, such as acupuncture, Chi gong and the use of herbs and nutrition. TCM has been used for thousands of years to restore the balance of body and mind.
In Asia, it is believed that our bodies need Chi, the vital life force that flows through us. When this energy is out of balance, we become ill. This happens when the opposing forces, yin and yang, become disturbed. You can restore this with TCM, for instance by massaging, using herbs or treating someone with acupuncture.
Chinese herbs are divided into different types: they can be warming, cooling, calming or regulating Chi. Each group of herbs has its own unique effect for conditions such as pain, anxiety or depression. You can also very well use different types of treatments within Traditional Chinese Medicine and combine them with CBD as well.
The benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine for pain
Plants and herbs contain all kinds of active substances that can be useful for chronic pain. And CBD also has pain-relieving properties. Because they affect the body in different ways, a combination of TCM and CBD can be very powerful.
Research from the University of California shows that a substance from the Corydalis ynahusuo plant (which is used in TCM) may well help relieve pain. This is especially true for acute nerve pain and pain caused by inflammation. The roots of the plant contain DHCB (dehydrocorybulbin). In tests on animals, DHCB was found to reduce pain due to inflammation and nerve pain. What was also interesting was that the mice did not develop tolerance to this natural painkiller.
Medicinal mushrooms are also used within TCM, and these can also help well with chronic pain. Shiitake, a mushroom regularly used in cooking, has anti-inflammatory properties. It can therefore be used for gout and rheumatism.
Reishi can also give good results for pain. In the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, the effect of Reishi was studied for pain caused by shingles (Herpes zoster). Within just a few days, it became clear that Reishi helped reduce pain. After 10 days, patients had no more pain and none of the participants developed chronic post herpetic neuralgia (in which pain and itching remain present for a long time after infection).
Combining CBD and Traditional Chinese Medicine for chronic pain
CBD can be a very good complement to Traditional Chinese Medicine. They both aim to restore the balance of body and mind, although they do so in different ways. CBD is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the hemp plant. The remarkable thing is that this substance is recognised by our body as endogenous.
Our body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is tasked with maintaining natural balance. It controls processes such as your sleep-wake rhythm, blood pressure, digestion and also the processing of pain stimuli. CBD can work with the ECS and therefore help restore balance.
CBD has analgesic, calming and anti-inflammatory properties. It can therefore be used in chronic pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or MS. Research shows that it can be effective in different types of pain, such as nerve damage due to trauma and amputation, neuropathy and fibromyalgia.
In 2016, research was conducted on the efficacy of CBD in inflammation. The results were published in the European Journal of Pain. In this, rats with joint pain due to osteoarthritis were given CBD gel smeared on their joints. The gel helped reduce swelling, and a decrease in inflammatory proteins in the spinal cord was also seen. The animals' behaviour also clearly showed that they were in less pain.
If you want to start using CBD, you have several options. You can go for CBD oil, but there are also CBD crystals, CBD edibles and CBD paste. They are all equally effective, only the way you take it differs.
Taking advantage of nature's healing power
The properties of different herbs, plants, mushrooms and treatments can be combined well. The active ingredients in CBD, medicinal mushrooms and other remedies from Traditional Chinese Medicine can complement each other well if you suffer from chronic pain, hopefully relieving your symptoms.
In any case, it is wise not to keep on walking with symptoms. Chronic pain can not only negatively impact your freedom of movement, but can also affect your mental well-being. Much can be done to relieve pain. Make an appointment with your GP or with a doctor specialising in TCM.
But you can also work on your own with the natural remedies mentioned above, such as CBD and medicinal mushrooms. These are safe to use (if you are not hypersensitive to mushrooms and follow the recommended guidelines) and produce few side effects.